Beneficiary Designation Form

Relief associations that authorize in their bylaws the payment of survivor benefits may pay a survivor benefit to a designated beneficiary when a deceased firefighter has no surviving spouse and no surviving children and a beneficiary has been designated. 

Relief associations cannot recognize a beneficiary designation if a firefighter has a surviving spouse or surviving children. There is one exception, however, for firefighters who have a surviving spouse but no surviving children. If a firefighter has no surviving children, the firefighter’s surviving spouse may waive, wholly or partially, the spouse’s entitlement to a survivor benefit. The waiver must be in writing. If the surviving spouse has waived entitlement, the survivor benefit may be paid to a designated beneficiary. When a lump-sum benefit is being distributed, a trust created under Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 501B, may be a designated beneficiary.

Relief association trustees should ask new members to complete a designation of beneficiary form for those that offer survivor benefits. Members should be encouraged to review their beneficiary designations at least annually to ensure that the designations are updated following major life events.

A sample designation of beneficiary form is available on the OSA website.

Additional information about calculating survivor benefits, survivor supplemental benefits, and the order of eligibility for collecting a survivor benefit can be found in our Statement of Position on this topic.

Published last in the October 2014 Pension Newsletter